F.W.H. Myers on Automatic Writing

Four articles by F.W.H Myers, whose “gothic psychiatry” is mentioned in Breton’s Le Message Automatique.

Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research ii 1884
On a Telepathic Explanation of Some So-Called Spiritualistic Phenomena

Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research iii 1885
Automatic Writing II

Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research iv 1887
Automatic Writing III

Proceedings of the Society for Psychical Research v 1889
Automatic Writing IV The Daemon of Socrates

Myers was the grand old man of psychic research at the time who had almost free reign to publish in Proceedings. He would have been a better writer if he had an editor though, he gets very verbose and rambling. His 30 page article titled “The Daemon of Socrates” doesn’t mention Socrates until page 18, he never sticks to the topic on hand but goes on long nested tangents. Gothic indeed.

Myers completely ascribes automatic writing to the writer’s subconscious, with the catch that the subconscience can also receive telepathic messages from others.

In part 2 he developes a theory of right brain hemisphere being the source of automatic messages that comes close to that of Julian Jaynes, particularly in part 4 when he discusses “automatic hearing”, hearing voices and hallucination.

Very interesting reads but not always easy going.

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